Driver of lean implementation at 8+ companies, directly coaching owners, general management and/or CEO in this growth strategy. Focusing on Lean Product & Process Development the last 3 years.
If you're building in China, your IP isn't protected. You also incur travel costs, long transit times, quality issues that increase product development time, Chinese New Year shut down (for weeks), etc. and the wage gap between the US & China is closing. A lot of 'leading' companies do not fully understand the real cost of offshoring. Search 'Reshoring Initiative TCO' and use the total cost of ownership calculator. Cost is not the only reason, product development is also a factor. There's a reason why Toyota moves to local markets. It's the same reason many Chinese companies move to the US.
Not in the last 14 companies, or any of the start-ups, have we had a need to purchase any so called 'lean software'. A lot of companies are selling the idea 'our software makes you lean' - it doesn't - the CEO drives lean. I've yet to come across a vendor charging for something you can't do without them in house at little to no cost. Try a whiteboard
Yes, in order to explain your idea a model will be helpful, which you can also take photos of to support your description online.
Consider using drone parts to build a cheap small scale functioning prototype.
Drawings can help, whether engineering or illustrations (what ever is cheaper to start) and support your description online.
Understand the trade off involved for VC money - how much equity and control you are willing to lose in exchange for this.
Figure out how much money would be required, even if only estimating the parts list at first, and what you need to be selling to determine if it's a potentially profitable venture before spending time on it.
How much are cargo drones costing? What can you learn from these?
How can you validate whether you've identified a buying market for this?